The New Jersey Departmental Protection has revised its number of bears that were killed on Monday, the first day of the bear hunt, from 61 to 116, which included 76 females and 40 males. Some of the bears that were killed had been previously tagged and were identified as having been a nuisance to local residents. On Tuesday, an additional 35 bears were killed, bringing the total, by the end of the day, to 152.
Creating a bit of a public relations disaster in an already emotionally charged atmosphere, on Tuesday morning, a cub, having been wounded by a hunter, staggered out of the woods to the roadside and took twenty minutes to die, in full view of the morning’s commuters, who were stuck in rush hour traffic.. Eventually, the hunter (properly licensed), who claimed the bear to be his kill and who tracked the wounded bear for several hours, showed up and took the bear away.
The number of kills should increase because the area available for bear hunting expanded to its intended size, when a federal judge rescinded a temporary order that had prohibited bear hunting in New Jersay’s Delaware Water Gap National recreation area.
The judge, in his opinion, observed, “… contrary to plaintiff’s alarmist predictions, the black bear population at (the Delaware Water Gap) is not going to be decimated, or even significantly impacted, by this bear hunt.” Further, in response to the plaintiff’s argument that the state lacked the authority to permit hunting in a national recreation area, the court stated that “the public interest favors permitting the state of New Jersey to conduct its limited hunt in order to manage its wildlife resources and hopefully promote a healthy and safe habitat for the residents who live in the vicinity of the Recreation Area.”
It is now virtually certain that the hunt will continue until approximately 500 bears are killed, or the six-day bear hunting season expires, whichever comes first.
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